We threw many logs on the fire before heading to bed for a couple hours.
At 4 am Nick, Nicholas, and I spread the coals form the bonfire out and hoisted the giant pig into position. We started the fire in the coal barrel to continue producing fresh coals all day, and Nick took the first shift of fire-tending, adding coals when necessary, and fighting the many flare-ups that can scorch a slow-roasting pig.
Later that morning we did a little party set-up...
Put out a couple fires...
Played some games...
Iced down the kegs the brewery had donated and made sure they tasted right, then put out a few more flare ups...
Played some more games...
And sometime that afternoon the crowd started showing up.
I don't have many pictures from the party. Mr. Binnie said the prayer, Nicholas kept a cold beverage in my hand all day, and good times were had.
Mickey took it upon himself to break down the rest of the pig and package it in many zip-lock bags as party favors for guests as they left. It was the best present he's ever given me.
It felt like the middle of the night, but by 7 pm most of our guests were gone, and we were down to a relaxed, exhausted group sitting around the same fire.
Once again a.Emily showed us her Gold Award level GirlScouting skills.
The morning after...
With this moment memorialized for me by Annaliese.
Nicholas and I snuck away for some alone time before he and Emily had to fly back to LA.
My oldest and best friend. (Alexe, it's a different category. Sheesh.)
One last set of goodbyes with the kids.
You're hard pressed to find a picture of Caspian near the BTC without an apple in his hand.
We're hoping to get out to LA some time next year and let the kids explore the myriad adventures California has to offer, with these two West Coast veterans as our tour guides.
Pre-party we put this pathway in.
With the kids back in school and it being Alexe's day off, we went back out in the canoe with u.c.Nick. And discussed life and plans and goals.
Alexe kept us on task and took notes.
After many conversations with Nick, we decided to take a different approach to strategizing his next chapter. A couple hours white-boarding his life in my office, and I think we might have reached some actionable conclusions. We'll know in a few months if the exercise worked.